NASA and “I Dream of Jeannie” TV Show
December 14, 2012 2 Comments
As a kid I sat entranced as I watched man take his first steps on the moon in 1969. I watched that fuzzy image on TV all day long and just couldn’t get enough. Then I found a television show that I fell in love with and still enjoy to this day – “I Dream of Jeannie”. The comedy stars Barbara Eden as a genie named Jeannie, and Larry Hagman as an Air Force astronaut named Major Tony Nelson. The series was set in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and centered on activities at the nearby Space Center.
In honor of this fame, Cocoa Beach recently erected a sign at Lori Wilson Park (it replaced the former I Dream of Jeannie Lane sign). A compendium of references to Cocoa Beach in “I Dream of Jeannie” is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqh90e1kDWE
Jeannie is so beloved in Cocoa Beach that the firefighters use her for their fire station t-shirts. A Jeannie bottle is also featured on their fire truck logo.
A display dedicated to the show was originally located at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Museum at the Launch 26 Blockhouse (http://www.afspacemuseum.org/displays/Jeannie/). In October 2015 the Jeannie display was moved to the nearby Air Force Missile and Space Museum at Port Canaveral, so it is much more accessible. Info on visiting is at: http://capemuseum.org/
In May 2013 Barbara Eden put a letter in a time capsule at Cape Canaveral. It describes her experiences and feelings about NASA and the show. You can read it by scrolling to page 16 at this link: http://www.brevardcounty.us/docs/default-source/Files/indian-river-journal-2013-spring-summer.pdf?sfvrsn=2
UPDATE: On October 25, 2015, Barbara Eden returned to Cocoa Beach. She was given the key to the city, gave out medals in the shape of Jeannie bottles to winners of the first Cocoa Beach Half Marathon, and oversaw the lookalike contest. The half marathon will continue as an annual event every Fall: http://cocoabeachhalfmarathon.com/